Belfast Telegraph

Sir Michael Caine says he'll 'never' retire - until the scripts stop coming

Sir Michael Caine says he will "never" retire - as long as people keep offering him roles.

The 82-year-old actor, who plays a retired composer relaxing in a luxury Swiss spa in his latest film Youth, said he was not tempted by that life.

Speaking at the film's premiere in London's Leicester Square, he said: "Never. No, if I retired I'd retire in England. But I wouldn't retire anywhere.

"But what happens is, you don't retire from movies. Movies retire you. You suddenly don't get any scripts, or there's no money and they can't afford you: then you stop."

Caine plays composer Fred Ballinger in the film by Oscar-winning director Paolo Sorrentino. Sent to a Swiss spa for his health with his best friend Mick Boyle (Harvey Keitel), he is resisting attempts to revive his greatest works - while filmmaker Mick is desperate to make his comeback, featuring his former muse Brenda (Jane Fonda).

Fred also has to contend with his family appearing on the scene - including daughter Lena Ballinger (Rachel Weisz). Her husband Julian (Ed Stoppard), who is also Mick's son, has left her for pop star Paloma Faith.

On her cameo, Faith, 35, said: "I'd like to do more acting. I find it a challenge, and I like being challenged.

"But I'd like to do something a bit wittier and more hardcore, next time, where people don't really even expect me to be that way.

"I'm really into cinema, I'm a massive film buff, so I'd like to get my teeth into something that's a bit alien to me. I'd love to do some sort of gritty British thing."

Weisz, 45, said of working with Caine: "Michael's a sweetheart, an absolute sweetheart, and he's a living legend. He's very funny and down to earth."

On shooting in the village of Flims in Switzerland, she said: "It was off season, there was no snow. In fact the hotel was closed when we got there. It was a bit Shining-like, actually."

Paul Dano, 31, who plays spa guest Jimmy Tree in the film, said: "We were out there in the middle of nowhere, just each other. I'd get a glass of red wine with Michael after work and listen to him telling me stories."

Sorrentino confirmed that the role of Fred was written specifically for Caine.

He said: "I sent him the script. I told him the movie was written for him, and with that he agreed to do it."

Caine said: "When they said Paolo Sorrentino is sending you a script, I was amazed Paolo Sorrentino had even heard of me. And then they said: He wrote it for you! so it was a tremendous privilege."

:: Youth will be released in cinemas later this year.

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